Viewing cable 09GENEVA674
Title: UNCTAD competition program for Africa

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09GENEVA6742009-08-12 14:01:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Mission Geneva
VZCZCXRO0576
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHGV #0674/01 2241401
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121401Z AUG 09
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9089
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 5745
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 8519
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 2035
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI 0505
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 0562
RUEHLS/AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 0357
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 3396
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 3585
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 1804
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 GENEVA 000674 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR IO/T, IO/EDA, AND PASS TO FTC FOR RDAMTOFT AND 
NFRANCZYK, DOJ FOR 
RLARME AND APURCELL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECIN ECON UNCTAD UNDP XA COMESA EAC SACU SADC WAEMU
SUBJECT: UNCTAD competition program for Africa 
 
¶1. ACTION REQUEST: If embassies in Africa believe their host 
countries could 
benefit from advice on competition policy, please see para 14. 
 
¶2. SUMMARY: In response to requests from several African countries, 
 
the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) launched a new 
Competition Programme for Africa (AFRICOMP) to help African 
countries 
develop appropriate administrative, institutional, and legal 
structures for effective enforcement of competition and consumer 
laws 
and policies. During the June 22 ceremony, representatives from the 
 
African countries participating in the program as well as regional 
beneficiaries all expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the 
 
program and commitment to its success. Africomp is funded via UNDP, 
 
several European donors and Turkey, each of which contributed 
between 
250,000 and one million Euros to launch the program. According to 
UNCTAD, attracting developed country experts to provide advice is a 
 
major challenge, even more difficult than fund raising. END SUMMARY 
 
¶3. At a June 22 launch with African beneficiary countries, donors, 
and prospective donors (US), UNCTAD provided an overview of the 
program and delegates made statements of support for the effort. 
 
BENEFICIARY MEMBERS 
------------------- 
 
¶4. Beneficiary countries are divided into three groups: 1. five 
pilot 
countries: Ghana, Zambia, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Malawi. 2. 
Countries in which UNCTAD is already providing assistance: 
specifically the West African Monetary Union (comprised of the eight 
 
Francophone nations in the region: Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, 
Ivory 
Coast, Chad, Niger, Benin), and the Economic Community of West 
African States (ECOWAS) (comprised of Anglophone countries, many of 
 
which overlap with the first group) 3. International Organizations 
like CEMA (Central African Monetary Union) and SACU (South African 
Customs Union), which member countries also may overlap with the 
previous groups. 
 
NEW APPROACH TO TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE 
------------------------------------ 
 
¶5.  Hassan Qaqaya, Head of the Competition Branch, introduced the 
AFRICOMP program by first focusing on its work process.  According 
to 
Qaqaya, Africomp will work in a consultative manner with local 
experts and officials in each country. The focus will be on building 
 
and creating local expertise. International UNCTAD competition 
policy 
experts will stay in the country as advisors no longer than 
necessary. The UNCTAD staff's goal will be to train locals and 
ensure 
a sustainable program. 
 
¶6. Each country will have a tailor-made program. Design, delivery 
mechanisms and evaluation processes of the AFRICOMP technical 
assistance programs will be country specific. 
 
¶7. Each beneficiary country will have two key positions for 
implementation of the Africomp program. The first will be the 
National Project Coordinator (NPC), who will be a working level 
competition policy expert appointed by, and paid by, the beneficiary 
 
government and approved by UNCTAD to oversee the technical 
assistance 
program. The second will be the Program Management Committee (PMC) 
member, who will typically be the head of the national competition 
 
GENEVA 00000674  002 OF 003 
 
 
authority.   The NPC will work for the PMC member.  The NPC in 
consultation with the PMC will determine the special needs of each 
country, and develop a comprehensive program of technical 
assistance, 
for which implementation UNCTAD will seek funding. 
 
¶8.  The PMC member will participate in semi annual meetings of the 
PMC at the regional level.  At those meetings, the PMC membership 
will include a representative from each of the regional groups 
working on competition policy. According to Qaqaya, UNCTAD will 
encourage a majority of work to be performed at the regional level 
in 
order to further regional integration. 
 
TYPES OF TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND CAPACITY BUILDING 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
¶9. Technical assistance will consist of both long term and short 
term 
missions by UNCTAD and international experts. They will provide 
advice through one-to-one discussions, workshops, and lectures. 
Qaqaya said getting expert advice from developed countries is a 
particular challenge, since competition experts in developed 
countries tend to be in high demand for their own national work and 
 
so are unavailable. Qaqaya hoped experts at the US Federal Trade 
Commission and Department of Justice could provide technical 
assistance in terms of expert advice. 
 
¶10. Information and experience exchange among African countries will 
 
be facilitated through internships, study visits, pooling of human 
and financial resources among African countries, and staff exchange 
 
among peers.  In this regard, Qaqaya reiterated his appeal for 
assistance from the U.S. 
 
¶11. AFRICOMP will build capacities and competences in African 
countries to take into account developments in the business world, 
while maintaining clear rules of competition enforcement. To this 
end, AFRICOMP will assist with the drafting of competition laws and 
 
related regulations, setting up of competition agencies, and 
training 
of case handlers and judges. 
 
¶12. The AFRICOMP program will encourage regional integration of 
competition policies by encouraging participating member states to 
discuss the problems arising from anti-competitive practices, and to 
 
seek common solutions by putting regional interests in front of 
national interests. As this requires strong regional institutions, 
AFRICOMP will also aim to strengthen regional institutions such as 
the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East 
African Community (EAC), ECOWAS, Southern African Customs Union 
(SACU), Southern African Development Community (SADC), and West 
African Economic and Monetary Unit (WAEMU). Although these 
institutions have provisions calling for implementation of a 
regional 
competition regime, according to Qaqaya, they have not been able to 
 
successfully implement competition law and policy at a regional 
level 
because of inadequate human and financial resources. Every six 
months 
there will be program coordination committee meeting 
 
FUNDING 
------- 
 
¶13. The program has a (quote) pool-basket (end quote) funding 
system, 
into which donors contribute. Sources of funding are diverse, 
including 
UNDP, United Nations Development Account, and bilateral monetary 
donors. 
Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and France have made financial 
contributions 
 
GENEVA 00000674  003 OF 003 
 
 
so far. Germany provides human assistance with the donation of 
several 
full time experts, and Turkey provides monetary assistance with the 
 
caveat that its donation will go only to Senegal. Monetary donations 
 
vary in size between 250 thousand and 1 million Euros.  UNCTAD will 
 
determine how best to spend the funds based on requirements 
expressed 
by beneficiaries. 
 
COMMENTS and FOLLOW UP 
---------------------- 
 
¶14. COMMENT The United States may wish to consider becoming a donor 
 
member of AFRICOMP in terms of providing in-kind donations in the 
form 
of expert advice.  Such advice could support the development of 
effective competition policies in Africa and ensure that European 
views on competition policy are not the only ones heard by AFRICOMP 
 
beneficiaries as they establish, or reform, their competition 
authorities. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department 
of 
Justice (DOJ) have extensive experience in providing technical 
assistance 
to newer competition agencies (and, in the case of the 
FTC, consumer 
protection agencies).  Much of this is done with USAID funding, but 
in 
some cases FTC and DOJ fund programs themselves.  More information 
may be found at http.www.ftc.gov(slash)oia(slash)assistance.s htm. 
Posts wishing to explore participating in this program may contact 
Nicholas Franczyk at nfranczyk(at)ftc.gov or Anne Purcell White at 
anne.purcell(at)usdoj.gov. 
 
¶15. Zambia has offered to host the first meeting of Africomp at the 
 
ministerial level both to launch the project at the highest level 
and 
to obtain a political commitment from beneficiary countries. The 
ministerial meeting is tentatively scheduled for the first or second 
 
week of November 2009. 
 
¶16. The US may wish to attend the ministerial meeting to ascertain 
the commitment level of the concerned nations, as well as the 
usefulness and effectiveness of this program. END COMMENT.